What We're Reading: Top State Stories 2/21

Top State Stories 2/21

KS: Proposal to repeal Kansas tax cuts sent to governor

The Kansas Senate sent Republican Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that would raise about $1 billion in new income taxes by repealing many of the tax cuts he championed in 2012. Brownback has indicated that he will not sign the bill into law.

NC: North Carolina governor proposes 10 percent raise for teachers over next two years

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said his budget will call for 5 percent teacher raises on average this year and next — with a goal of raising pay in North Carolina to the national average in five years.

LA: Louisiana lawmakers reach tentative budget deal

The agreement to close a $304 million midyear budget gap would protect funding for prisons, mental health services and the Louisiana Department of Education, but opens the door to cuts in other areas, including a popular college scholarship program, next fiscal year. 

OH: Proposal would let Ohio school voucher money be saved for college

The idea is to let parents who use Ohio’s tax-funded vouchers for private primary and secondary schooling to stash leftover dollars into savings accounts to help pay for college. Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada have some version of the accounts, with Nevada making them available to any student attending private schools.

GA: Georgia bill would replace ‘no trespassing’ signs with purple paint

The proposal would do away with “no trespassing” signs and instead allow Georgia property owners to paint their trees purple. The bill follows the decades-old lead of other states, starting in 1989 in Arkansas.

CA: California bill would make it harder for cities to restrict development

The bill would make it harder for cities and counties to slow development in their communities, a response to decades of local ballot measures across California that have tried to restrain growth while demand for affordable housing rises.

MT: Montana lawmakers consider bill banning abortion after 24 weeks

The bill would establish viability at 24 weeks and prohibit an abortion in Montana after that point, even if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk. If a woman’s life was at risk, her doctor would have to induce labor or deliver the fetus by cesarean section and do everything medically possible to support the fetus. A violation of the law would be a felony.

WI: Wisconsin governor's budget would shrink parole agency to 1 employee

Staffing in the Wisconsin agency that judges whether about 3,000 longtime state inmates should get parole would drop from eight employees to one, under Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal.

CO: Colorado proposal would allow marijuana delivery

The Senate bill would allow Coloradans to get medical or recreational marijuana products delivered to their door.

MS: Bill designed to make divorce in Mississippi less difficult, costly

Mississippi does have a true "no-fault divorce" law, which means spouses must prove one of 12 grounds for divorce in court to get one. That can be a lengthy, costly process, which the bill is designed to help ease.

MO: Missouri lawmaker wants gun owners to be required to report lost or stolen firearms

A proposal in the Missouri House would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 72 hours, a change the legislation’s sponsor says will close a loophole that allows legally purchased guns to be re-sold or given to anyone with no accountability.

AZ: Arizona's GOP Senate president wants members serving longer terms

Republican Senate President Steve Yarbrough has proposed four-year terms for senators, instead of the two years that are set for members of both the Arizona House and Senate. In keeping with Arizona's eight-year term limits, it would hold senators to two terms.

Trump Administration to Expand Deportations Virginia Poised to Lead on Risk Analysis of State Pension Investments